Governor Kenneth Mapp joined governors from across the country for a video teleconference Wednesday as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William “Brock” Long and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen met with President Donald Trump and his Cabinet at FEMA Headquarters for the 2018 Annual Hurricane Briefing, according to Government House.
FEMA Administrator Long and DHS Secretary Nielsen updated the president on preparations for the 2018 hurricane season and the ongoing recovery efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, Government House said.
In this meeting, FEMA reviewed key lessons learned from the 2017 hurricane season.
“It is estimated that roughly 47 million people were impacted in some way by last year’s hurricane season, mounting one of the nation’s largest disaster response and recovery efforts in the history of the nation,” Mr. Long said. “I believe that governors were and continue to be a critical partner in response to natural disasters.”
FEMA also provided an overview on evacuation zones, clearance times, decision timelines, forecast uncertainty and other topics.
Mr. Mapp encouraged Virgin Islanders to prepare for the 2018 hurricane season that began on June 1 by assembling a disaster supply kit, creating an evacuation and communication plan, following up with FEMA and the Small Business Administration about grants and loans to harden homes and businesses. He also encouraged residents to register for Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) alerts and notifications, and staying abreast of local and national news and media regarding weather forecasts and updates.
The governor was joined by VITEMA Director Mona Barnes and the Federal Coordinating Officer of FEMA Region II, William “Bill” Vogel.